Sara Ramirez explains why she came out after her Grey’s Anatomy character did
Sara Ramirez has said that the Orlando Massacre had a large impact on her decision to come out publicly.
Ramirez made her name as Callie Torres on Grey’s Anatomy, playing a character who came out to her father as bisexual in 2009, during season five.
The actress revealed that she was bi seven years later, just months after 49 were killed in the shooting at Pulse nightclub.
And speaking to EW and People’s Coming Out Stories, the star said the attack influenced her decision.
“Coming out publicly was something that I was afraid of because I was concerned that it would affect my career in a negative way,” she said.
“I was afraid of the discrimination I might face, not just outside Hollywood, but inside.”
But, she said, “as the years went by, and as the political climate intensified, and as I continued to read and hear about the countless forms of violence perpetrated against us, including the Orlando shooting at Pulse nightclub, an organic, incremental urgency to use my platform to empower those who are part of these communities that I’m a part of came over me in a way that I’ve never felt before.”
Ramirez had no regrets about her decision, saying: “Coming out publicly has given me a sense of relief.
“It’s been a form of liberation for me to own all of my identities so that I no longer feel the need to hold back or hide any parts of myself when I walk through any threshold in life.”
Like many others, the 42-year-old star has had to explain her sexuality over and over again, ever since she was a teenager.
“I’ve been coming out to my friends and family since I was 18 years old,” she said.
“Although my caretakers were ill-equipped to support me in the ways that I needed and although I internalised a lot of bi-antagonism and biphobia and discrimination growing up, either in straight spaces or LG spaces, I knew my truth and my truth never went away.”
Before she revealed she was bisexual during a speech at the True Colours Fund’s 40 to None Summit, the actress decided to come out to her close friends.
In the middle of a movie night at her home, she paused a film to share her “truth”.
She said the responses were accepting, but slightly nonplussed.
“Everyone was very supportive and happy for me,” she said.
“The reaction went something like, ‘Huh, cool. Can we get back to the movie now?’”
Watch Sara’s coming out story here: